Krishna, as a fun loving, playful, young lad had a joyous time on the banks of the Yamuna River with His childhood friends, the cowherds – both male, the Gopa and female, the Gopi.
Many stories, sculptures, paintings have been drawn, through the centuries, on the delightful pranks of Krishna. Many have eulogized through poetry, dance and drama, Krishna and His friends teasing the Gopi.
Many have painted Krishna as a lad cavorting with the young Gopika Stree, maidens of the village.
Many a stories abound on how even married women, finding Krishna irresistible, would leave their meals and husbands just to be with Him.
The stories about the Lila, “acts”, “play” of Krishna with the Gopi, have come down through millennia through various forms of art, through enchanting tales as well as through spiritual messages.
Rasa Lila – Dancing With The Gopi
In Krishna, the Gopi of Vrindavan saw the divine and were keen on obtaining Krishna as a husband. They therefore undertook fasts and prayed fervently with all devotion. Their minds were fixed on Krishna.
One night, the Gopi were drawn to the woods by the mesmerizing notes from Krishna’s flute. Leaving everything behind, they rushed to the woods to find that there was a Krishna waiting there for each one of them.
The night was spent dancing with their respective Krishna and rejoicing in His company as though each Gopi was His sole consort and that Krishna belonged to each of them solely. It was a very long night.
The moon came out to cool and brighten up the night with its soft glow. The night breeze was crisp and scented with the intoxicating fragrances from wild flowers.
Peacocks and deer mesmerized by this spell, stayed awake and came to lend colour and sound to the dance. They danced to the music too.
The waters of the Yamuna, as they flowed past, gurgled with joy at this sight.
It was the night of a Raslila.
As this night passed and the dance kept going, the Gopi relished being Krishna’s consort and the sole object of His love and attention.
It was a long night but even that gave way to daybreak and the magic came to a halt with the Lila. They had come to the forest at moon rise, with longing for Krishna. Now, before the sun could rise and wake the world, they returned to their homes with pangs of separation.
This incident of Krishna dancing with the Gopi has been beautifully described in poetry on Krishna. It is also enacted through various dance forms to this day.
Many have explained this Raslila beyond the miracle and beauty in it, for the essence of the spiritual message that lies there for one and all to relish. This Raslila has been explained by the realized as a symbolism of the spiritual reunion of the seeker with the Divine.
The Raslila dance stands as a metaphor for the emotions of single minded love, devotion and unification with the divine that prevailed in the seeker, the simple Gopi.
The above is an extract from our book, “Historical Krishna – Vol-3-Facets of Krishna, pg 25, 27, 28”.